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Student of Games: A unified learning algorithm for both perfect and imperfect information games

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 3:04 am
by Rémi Coulom

Games have a long history as benchmarks for progress in artificial intelligence. Approaches using search and learning produced strong performance across many perfect information games, and approaches using game-theoretic reasoning and learning demonstrated strong performance for specific imperfect information poker variants. We introduce Student of Games, a general-purpose algorithm that unifies previous approaches, combining guided search, self-play learning, and game-theoretic reasoning. Student of Games achieves strong empirical performance in large perfect and imperfect information games—an important step toward truly general algorithms for arbitrary environments. We prove that Student of Games is sound, converging to perfect play as available computation and approximation capacity increases. Student of Games reaches strong performance in chess and Go, beats the strongest openly available agent in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em poker, and defeats the state-of-the-art agent in Scotland Yard, an imperfect information game that illustrates the value of guided search, learning, and game-theoretic reasoning.